Via jill/txt I came across this article in First Monday, “Beyond Google: How do students conduct academic research?” by Alison J. Head. Yet another example of something I don’t have time and/or am not in the mood to read right now. But the abstract looks quite interesting:
This paper reports findings from an exploratory study about how students majoring in humanities and social sciences use the Internet and library resources for research. Using student discussion groups, content analysis, and a student survey, our results suggest students may not be as reliant on public Internet sites as previous research has reported. Instead, students in our study used a hybrid approach for conducting courseâ€“related research. A majority of students leveraged both online and offline sources to overcome challenges with finding, selecting, and evaluating resources and gauging professorsâ€™ expectations for quality research.
This seems to fit in with some research that my friend/colleague Bill HD has done on the ways that students multi-task during the research writing process, and the abstract also suggests to me that what students are doing is making audience-based choices. In other words, if the professor will allow the student to “get away” with a lot of internet research, then they’ll use it. If not….